The Binding of Satan

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. 2 And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that she might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.  Rev 20:1-3

Revelation 20 is the only place in the Bible that speaks of “the millennium”—the thousand-year reign of the triumphant Christ on earth. Nowhere else does Holy Scripture mention this word, so it is necessary to look at related teachings elsewhere in Scripture to understand what it means in Revelation….

A sound principle of biblical interpretation (used from ancient times by Augustine, Tychonius, and other early Christian writers) is that one interprets the few mentions of a word or concept in light of the many, and the symbolic in light of the plain. It would be contrary to a clear understanding of the Scriptures to make the many fit into the one, or the plain into the symbolic. Therefore, we should understand what Revelation 20, a highly symbolic book, says about the millennium in light of the very large number of other biblical passages that tell us more plainly (and less symbolically) what occurs between Christ’s resurrection and ascension to heaven, and His final return to earth to complete His victorious work. With that in mind, let us seek biblical help in order to make sense of the very first thing that is said to occur in this thousand-year period between Christ’s two comings: the binding of Satan.

Revelation 20:1–3 says that a mighty angel from God binds the Devil for a thousand years. Specifically, verse 3 relates that he is bound from deceiving the nations during this period. Something happens to Satan’s ability to keep the nations of earth blinded from seeing who God is, and what His gospel means for them. As a result of Christ’s finished work in dying on the cross, in rising from the dead, in ascending to the Father, and in being crowned on the throne of glory, Satan lost his power to deceive the untold millions of pagans, whom he formerly kept blinded to God’s saving truth.  View article →